South- south group urges Tompolo to surrender

A group of former federal legislators from the South-south geopolitical zone yesterday urged former militant, Government Ekpemupolo, alias Tompolo to surrender to the government and face his trial.

Following the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) case against him, Tompolo has gone into hiding, while crude oil and gas pipelines have been bombed in the region.

Rather than attract the wrath of the Federal Government for bombing of oil facilities in the area, the Coalition of South-south Emeritus Legislators also urged those aggrieved in the region to embrace peace and channel their grievances through the amnesty office.

The group comprising 11 ex-members of the House of Representatives briefed journalists in Abuja.

Mercy Almona-Isei (Delta) said, “Already the federal government has instituted an agency as a window of opportunity for all aggrieved people from that region to come and ventilate their grievances in any way and that is the office of the amnesty programme.

“And already that particular office has been engaging the people from this region. Some have benefited from one form of training or the other.

“And if anything has arisen that will create this type of confusion or anger within the people, we expect that we should use that platform to get back whatever they feel they are denied of.

“Against that background, we are calling on our own son, our brother, who is being called by the government to come and answer any question. He should come out as a gentleman and as a true son of the Niger Delta region.

“He should come out and give his own part of the story. We all know that nobody is presumed guilty until you are proven so. So I think rather than pull down the trees in the whole region because of one person, we believe that he should be man enough, he should be a patriot that he is, he should be nationalistic and come out to answer to whatever he is being accused of.”

Justice Ibrahim Buba of a Federal High Court sitting in Lagos on January 15 issued a bench warrant for Tompolo’s arrest over his failure to appear before the court to answer to charges of money laundering preferred against him by EFCC.

The ex-militant was charged alongside former Director-General of Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Patrick Akpobolokemi with four others for allegedly stealing more than N13billion belonging to the agency.

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